Friday, September 30, 2011

back in the central time zone

Today was our next to last day of travel for this trip and gets us back into our favorite time zone, at least the one we are the most accustomed to.  There was some problem in Louisville where our route I-64 crosses the Ohio River and it was closed but they had advanced warning signs to alert us to a detour route (at least it was in the English language) which wasn't any problem except for adding a few miles to today's travel.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

we're on our way

Today's drive has always seemed to be the longest day of our trips to/from Baltimore.  At 370 miles it is a bit longer than we prefer but it works out to be the best combinations of campgrounds that we have found.  The tough grades through western Maryland and West Virginia sure don't help the fuel economy especially the climbs for Sideling Hill, Martins Mountain, and the Eastern Continental divide but the toughest part of the drive is through the town of Cumberland, MD because interstate route I-68 goes right through the center of town with many ramps on and off.  It's very crooked with a posted speed limit of 40 mph max and always seems congested.  The rest of the days drive is beautiful mountain scenery.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

daughter is home

Our trip today was mostly due south across PA and tonight we are just outside of Baltimore and have delivered Phyllis to her house so she can get reacquainted with Rosie, her kitty.  Tammy, our claimed other Maryland daughter, has been taking care of Rosie and Phyllis' house while we were away.  We had dinner at the local Diner then Jo & I came back to the trailer with plans for an early start tomorrow morning on our way back towards the ol' Martin Manor.

Our GWF has sure been with us on this trip and especially today.  The forecast was for a 50-60% chance of showers today and we did get some good rainfall during last night.  The skies cleared this morning for our departure and we did travel through some fog and hit and miss showers most of the morning but then it was clear at lunch time.  This afternoon has been partly cloudy but no rain for our setup here in the campground.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

a bit of family history

For those not familiar with our family this homestead was in the Stone family which was my mother's maiden name.  Her father was born in this house and later traveled westward to settle in Nebraska where he met my grandmother.  I was always told while growing up that if I didn't mind my manors that I could never be taken to New York as if we hillbilly folks were too uncooth for the eastern folks.  So I just got here on my own and perhaps my manors are not too bad as the folks here have let me stick around for a couple of days.

searching for the homestead

We are in a campground near Chenango Bridge, NY so we could drive through town looking for the Stone family homestead and other landmarks.  Here is a plat of the town from years ago which shows the locations that we were searching for.  Item (1) on the East side of Front Street is the homestead location and item (22) at the southeast end of Mountain View is the location of the mill site our ancestor built.

 This is a picture of the homestead from many years ago.

And here are today's pictures with some major additions and renovations.  The porch in the picture above has now been replaced with an addition and the current house shows definite seams where the addition was made.  It started to rain just as I got out of the truck on the first picture which is a bit cloudy as a result so we drove around the block and the rain stopped so we were able to get a couple more.

Then we drove along the River Road to search for the mill site and took this picture at the end of Mountain View.  There is no indication of the mill but the river is in the background behind these houses in that location.

We drove around town a bit to try and find the old depot location as Vena told us that another relative Phena Stone lived in the first house east of the depot.  What we found that might have been the depot location along the RR was now a new post office where Main Street crossed the tracks.

It was good to have this time to search a bit around town.  We have passed through this area several times in our past travels and just took the time on this trip to take a few photos.  Tomorrow we head south again toward Baltimore and to deliver our daughter back to her kitty.

Monday, September 26, 2011


... you don't need a translator to read that headline and yes, we are back in the US.  The border crossing was only about 25 miles south of Montreal so it was early morning when we pulled up to the gate.  They weren't too busy this morning and apparently needed something to do so pulled us over for an inside the trailer inspection with their drug sniffing dog.  It really didn't take very long and we were on our way.  The drive through upper NY State was through the Adirondack mountains and very scenic all the way to Albany and then it was southwest toward Chenango Bridge.  We will head out tomorrow to look for the family "Stone" homestead.  The forecast is for a 50% chance of rain so we will see how the day goes.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

bon après-midi

Or as we say in Missouri, "good afternoon."

We are now in Montreal and will have tomorrow to rest up for the trip back to Chenango Bridge, NY on Monday.  There are many items of interest in this major metropolitan area but we have been driving for a few days and believe that we will just rest up for the trip home with perhaps a lunch/dinner out.  We have found that in this Montreal area folks speak more English without a strong French accent except at the grocery store where we ask for help to find things.

On the drive today I was thinking about how the States of MO, IA, & MN have upgraded a route between St. Louis, MO and St. Paul, MN to a freeway status and then named it the "Avenue of the Saints" because of the names of the cities at each end.  I believe that today's route has to be the true (avenue of the saints) because 99% of the towns on the Sortie (exit) signs along the whole distance were to a town called Saint this, Saint that, and Saint something or other.  I never knew there were this many saints.


Yesterday around noon we crossed into Quebec and entered a whole new country.  French is the official language in this Province and all road signs have that language only.  In other Provinces of Canada they usually post both French and English on all signs.  Fortunately the speed limits are in numbers so there is no translation needed there.

The drive again was simply beautiful with more and more tree color, reds & yellows, splashed here and there.

When we got set up in this campground in Riviere-Du-Loupe on the banks of the St Laurence River their Wifi wasn't fast enough to allow a connection but this morning it seems to be doing okay.

Our scheduled campground was a few kilometers back along our route but when we drove into the driveway toward the office there was a chain across the drive and a sign on the office door said Ferme which we assume meant closed.  There were many trailers set up in the campground with other vacant spots for us, we thought.  We called their telephone number but got their voice mail.  It was just shortly after lunch time so we thought they would be back soon.  After waiting over an hour and a half we decided to turn around and find another campground, which we did.  Today we head south toward Montreal and then Monday cross back out of french speaking territory into the good ole USofA.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

back in New Brunswick

We thoroughly enjoyed our time on Prince Edward Island but this morning we crossed back over the Confederation bridge and began our travels toward Quebec.  PEI is the Idaho of Canada as one of their major agricultural products is potatoes, with many storage quonset type barns and even a potato museum.  One thing that we have noticed are the crows.  They are very large, plentiful (they're everywhere), and very noisy.  The Island of PEI likes to have everyone come to visit as both the ferry and the bridge are free to enter the island and then they charge a toll if you choose to leave.  Our toll this morning to cross the bridge was $57+ dollars and cars were $45.

We really haven't seen much fall tree color yet on this trip but today there were several splashes of beautiful reds and oranges especially near waterways.  Most of the trees in this part of the continent are evergreen but I imagine these reds were maples.

Tonight we are in Fredericton, NB in a bit unusual campground but it will do well for our one night stay.  Tomorrow we cross back into EDT and gain back one hour.  After we got set up and ready for the night I told JoAnn that I would go fill up the fuel tank and be ready for tomorrows drive.  Phyllis decided to come along so I turned Ms Navi on and ask her to take us to the "nearest" fuel station and she found one of the brands that we have been using here in Canada within just a few kms.  We drove out of the campground and followed her "purple line" to soon find that her nearest measurement was as the crow flies and not by highway which soon turned into 15-20 kms and past at least one other service station.  We decided to continue to the first location that was in Ms Navi's program because it was a brand that we knew and we weren't in any hurry.  Along the way we stopped at a grocery store to pick up a couple of items and then on to the the fuel station only to find that they didn't have diesel.  The reason it was close to the campground was that it was straight across a river from where the trailer is parked but we had to travel kms down the road to get across a bridge and then back.  ;-)  We stopped at a station on the way back to the trailer so now we are good to go for tomorrow.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

PEI day two

Today we toured the west side of the island from our campground along the center northern coast.  We visited the West Point lighthouse and the North Cape lighthouse and got a look at the countryside along the way.  After our visit to the North Cape lighthouse we received a Tip-to-Tip certificate for having traveled the length of Prince Edward Island in our travels.  Along the way we stopped at the Bottle Houses which were several buildings constructed by using many various glass bottles held together by cement mortar.  These structures were created by Edouard Arsenault beginning in 1980 with thousands of bottles of all kinds gathered from local sources before recycling became popular.

We passed by the Cafe that advertised "sea weed pie" and opted for a good local sea food eaterie for lunch.

Tomorrow we hitch back up and head back into New Brunswick on our way toward Montreal.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Prince Edward Island

Today we had a nice drive along the coastline from our campground which is about in the center of the north coast to the furthest east point and back.  It was a great day weather wise with just being a bit breezy and cool but no rain.  There are pictures of a few lighthouses and some of the red sandstone cliffs and beaches along the way. After the drive we took in a great seafood restaurant for some of the local fresh catch-of-the-day.  I had some of the best oysters on the half shell that I've ever had, YUM.

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PEI day 1

Monday, September 19, 2011

a short travel day

This morning we left New Scotland (Nova Scotia), passed through New Brunswick, and crossed the 8 mile long Confederation Bridge to Prince Edward Island.  It was a beautiful drive as has been all of our travels through this area of North America.  So far what we have seen is that the Island is more agricultural use while New Brunswick and Nova Scotia were more timber covered.  We are in the land of "Anne of Green Gables" so most of the tourist areas have that theme and also there are many light houses along the coast so stay tuned.

On edit, I should report the results of yesterdays card games.  We played two games of "hand and foot" with the Maryland Marvel and myself taking a beating from the Missouri Mama in both games.  It was still nice to have a relaxing day at the trailer.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Halifax area

This morning we drove into downtown Halifax to the harbor.  We had plans to take a sail boat tour of the harbor area but found that the excursion was sold out so we just took a picture of the ship.  After taking a few pictures of the ships in the harbor we did some gift shop looking and then had lunch at a restaurant on the pier.

After lunch we drove to Peggy's Cove to see the light house that is there and the scenery of the coast along the way and back.

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Halifax & Peggy's Cove

The weather today was just simply gorgeous with temps in the 60s and no fog. A jacket was necessary but not an umbrella. Tomorrow is a planned day of loafing with perhaps a card game or two and there is no way that I will let the Maryland Marvel come out on top of that venture.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Nova Scotia

We entered Nova Scotia a little before noon today and now are settled in our campground for the next three days.  There are many items of interest in and around Halifax so I'm sure we can find something to occupy our time and have something to report.

Bay of Fundy

Yesterday morning was very dense fog but we took out with the hope of that lifting.  We went to St. Martin, NB to drive the Bay of Fundy Trail which is a beautiful parkway along the bluffs of the Bay.  I have corrected my comment from yesterday to show the correct tide change of 57 feet, not the 20 that I had guessed.  In St. Martin we had a nice lunch of seafood chowder and seafood casserole, double yum.  After lunch the fog lifted and it was a very nice drive through this park with great vistas to the sea.

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 After our drive we went back to the reversing falls area in Saint John and this time it was low tide so the river flow from left to right was very evident as this picture shows.

This morning we pack up and head to Halifax, Nova Scotia and see what we can find to get into there.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

reversing falls

Here in Saint John on the Bay of Fundy they claim the world's highest tide level changes (57 feet) with the flow on the Saint John River reversing twice a day with the tides.  At this one point under a bridge there are some rapids during low tide and normal river flow but that flow gets reversed at high tide.  We arrived at the viewing point right at what they call low slack tide which is the point where the rising tide has just equaled the river flow and the waters are calm.  We watched and took this sequence of pictures over the next 30-40 minutes as the tide rose drastically.

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reversing falls

We found some lunch in a very nice brew pub and then spent some time in the New Brunswick Museum with many displays of the former major ship building era, before steel and engines, no pictures allowed. ;-(.  With the vast supply of logs in the area that industry flourished.

Last evening the fog rolled in quite heavy and it's still hanging around this morning we'll just have to see how soon it rises before we get out and about again.  Checking the forecast this is probably going to be the norm while we are in these Atlantic Provinces.

Because of roaming in Canada the data rates are too much $s to use my Verizon system for our computers so we have to rely on the campground wifi.  During the day and especially late afternoon that system bogs down to a major frustration level (worse than dial up) so that is why I'm uploading the pictures and posting this now first thing this morning.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Saint John, New Brunswick, Canada

We arrived here around 3:00 Atlantic Daylight Time after a very nice scenic drive through both eastern Maine and southwestern New Brunswick.  Lots of trees and mountainous vistas with a bunch of fog this morning and then again after lunch which is hanging around here after supper time. We are very near the Bay of Fundy so we occasionally hear a fog horn from the bay.  We also hear train horns so this campground is legal. We will be here for the next three nights so will have the next couple of days to find something in this area to tour and enjoy, stay tuned.

Monday, September 12, 2011


Today's route had the heaviest traffic so far and perhaps for the whole trip.  While we didn't get into the major metropolitan areas of New York and Boston we did skirt around the edges enough to experience some fairly heavy traffic volumes.  There were no problems except for a few dumb small car drivers that don't seem to understand that this mass that we pull around doesn't allow for sudden stops.  Rest areas are also few and far between through this area but we were able to find one for our morning stretch/restroom break and then again at lunch time.  Tomorrow we travel northeastward through the rest of Maine and then cross the border into New Brunswick, Canada.  From here on until we cross back into the USA is new territory for us so we are looking forward to the main reasons for this trip.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Northward bound

Got away this morning around 8 am and it was a pleasant drive through Pennsylvania into NY.  We did see some signs of wind damage from Irene and some flooding (both Irene and Lee) along the way but our drive was not affected.  Tomorrow we continue the trek northerly into Maine.

Saturday, September 10, 2011


Here are the pictures from our crab feast.
just digging in
 Tammy with Tori, her youngest daughter, and her dad (don't know the guy in red)
and back to us still digging in
Missing from the pictures were Phyllis, the photographer, and Megan, Tammy's eldest daughter who was sitting at the end of the table.  That pile of crabs in the center of the table almost disappeared before we quit.

Today we plan to help Phyllis get ready for our trip as she has been working hard at the office so she could get away.  We have a few items to pick up at the grocery store and then tomorrow we head north and east.

Friday, September 09, 2011

definitely a keeper

One of the toughest pulls on this route is Martin Mountain, just east of Cumberland, MD and we didn't even need to pull over to the climbing lane.  Yep, the power is there so I think we will keep this truck for a while.

We had off and on rain showers all day, sometimes just for a few swipes of the wiper blades.  Our GWF did stay with me as when we stopped for our stretch, lunch, and fuel breaks as well as when we arrived at the campground for our set-up the rain stopped.  Our two daughters have plans for dinner for us this evening.  Phyllis' best friend Tammy (she went on or Greek Islands cruise with us) is claimed as our second daughter.  Her oldest daughter works in a seafood restaurant and we are headed there for a Maryland Crab feast.

Just now returned from our feast and it was outstanding once we learned how to manage the extraction of the goodies.  Phyllis took some pictures with her cell phone and tomorrow when I have those from her I will post the evidence.

Thursday, September 08, 2011

the Bluegrass State

Most of today's route was across this Bluegrass State with horse farms, tabacky fields (some were being harvested), and nice scenery.  We saw a wild turkey about a couple of hours after we passed the Wild Turkey distillery.  There was a big traffic jam in Louisville due to an accident but we still made it to our campground by around 3 pm.  We truly enjoy this route over I-70 with less traffic (it seems) and much better scenery.  The I-70 route is about 50 miles shorter but with the traffic I don't believe it is any quicker.

Still enjoying the new truck and tomorrow's route through the West Virginia and western Maryland mountains will really tell us how the power level has really improved.  These climbs back in '99 were the reason we traded the gasser in for our first diesel.

Wednesday, September 07, 2011

On the road again

We could hear Willy singing as we left home this morning.  It's good being out again after our few weeks at home.  We love our home but we also love our travels.  This was the first day of pulling with the new truck and we couldn't be more pleased with the way it is working.  It's much quieter with more power and seems to ride smoother than any of our older trucks.  Jo was happy to find that her seat was power adjustable and she was able to raise it up to help her see out.  The first fill up after towing for 300 miles was a 10.9 mpg which is very good and should improve with time.

This evening we are in Lynnville, IN in a city park that we found a few years ago.  It's a very nice and well kept park and at $15 is a very good bargain.  Tomorrow we head to Milton, WV.

Sunday, September 04, 2011

the other half is done

Took advantage of the cooler cloud covered morning to finish the wash job on the trailer.  At least to start out we will have a clean and shiny RV.  We will let the Labor Day travelers have their big weekend and get back home out of our way before we take off on Wednesday.

Friday, September 02, 2011

half clean

This morning before the heat rolled in I got out and washed half of the trailer.  The way it sits in our back yard the street side and back end are in morning shade so that is what I washed down today.  If it had cooled down in late afternoon I would have finished the rest but with heat index numbers at the 100 mark I decided to wait a couple of days for better temperatures.  I will get the rest washed plus the front end cap waxed (for bug protection) before we take off next Wednesday.